Matthew Duss

Matthew Duss is a foreign policy analyst and a contributing writer for the Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter @mattduss.

Recent Articles

POPULISM FOR ME, FASCISM FOR THEE ...

Jesus' General shares this Jonah Goldberg gem from a recent NPR interview: Jonah Goldberg: The benefit of Bush’s compassionate conservatism [in 2000] was that it was majorly a marketing slogan… Alex Chadwick: You mean you’re worried Mike Huckabee might actually mean it? Goldberg: Yes, that’s what I’m terrified of. Sadly, No! interprets this in light of Goldberg's statement that "populism is a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite." In other words: it’s cool to rile up the idiot vote by telling them that liberals want to ban Christmas, but helping them pay for their kids’ health care goes way, way over the line. Religion, in Jonah’s world, truly is the Cheetos bag of the masses. Indeed, this tracks pretty well with former White House official David Kuo 's experience , as described in his book Tempting Faith : Conservative elites openly scorn the working-class evangelicals whose fears they crassly manipulate in order to implement their pro-rich agenda. Meanwhile, on...

OF HICKS AND HOMELANDS.

Mike Huckabee , the candidate for transfer : When asked about a Palestinian state, Gov. Huckabee stated that he supports creating a Palestinian state, but believes that it should be formed outside of Israel. He named Egypt and Saudi Arabia as possible alternatives, noting that the Arabs have far more land than the Israelis and that it would only be fair for other Arab nations to give the Palestinians land for a state, rather than carving it out of the tiny Israeli state. Right, because it's not as if Palestinians have any connection to the land in which they've lived for generations. Git 'em up, move 'em on! You can imagine the response if a candidate were to suggest anything like this in regard to Israel: Abe Foxman 's tie would spin around, Commentary 's server would crash, and Marty Peretz would order James Kirchick to crush a paper cup. Also, that candidate's campaign would be over, and deservedly so. But this is America, and these are the Palestinians we're talking about, so...

WHAT WE NEED IS AWARENESS, WE CAN'T GET CARELESS.

I strongly recommend Brian Katulis 's article from yesterday. As he indicates, we are in a key moment for progressives on national security right now. Given the momentous and comprehensive failure of conservative ideology in the Middle East, progressives have an opportunity to redraw the boundaries of the national security debate in the U.S., and it's imperative that we recognize and make the most of it. Katulis offers some very smart suggestions on how to begin to do that. I think a big test for progressives is how we continue to deal with the myth of the surge . It's a tough one: people like hearing good news better than bad news, and tend to be more forgiving of sunny BSers than they are of hard truth-tellers. We're also confronted with an administration and a deep-pocketed neoconservative faction whose reputations are tied to Iraq, and who have proven time after time that they have no compunction about hiding behind the troops in order to advance astonishingly dishonest claims...

THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF HANSON.

One of Victor Davis Hanson 's readers asks "whether the ancient world offered any parallels in our modern war on jihadism?" Those of you familiar with Hanson's ouvre will understand that this is a bit like asking a French chef whether you should put butter in things, or asking Wynton Marsalis whether Louis Armstrong was important to jazz, or asking Jonah Goldberg whether he thinks blatant nepotism among political elites is appropriate. Not only will the answer be an emphatic yes, but it gets to the entire reason why he is here. Hanson's career as a pundit is dedicated to the proposition that there is no event in history that cannot be sculpted into a justification for the political preferences of Victor Davis Hanson ( Bob Bateman had a great series in which he dismantled Hanson's priapic puffery like a Lego battleship). True to form, in response to his reader's question, Vic reels off a bunch of names and battles that I'm sure he's hoping you don't know and thus won't understand how...

MONDAY MORNINGS JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT GRIMMER.

The New York Times leaves a flaming bag of poo on America's doorstep, in the form of Bill Kristol 's first regular column . But gratitude for sparing us a third Clinton term only goes so far. Who, inquiring minds want to know, is going to spare us a first Obama term? After all, for all his ability and charm, Barack Obama is still a liberal Democrat. Some of us would much prefer a non-liberal and non-Democratic administration. We don’t want to increase the scope of the nanny state, we don’t want to undo the good done by the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and we really don’t want to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq. As Ezra points out , the analysis in the column, such as it is, is utterly uninteresting. But, of course, Kristol is not an analyst, he's a propagandist, and I'll say this for him: He knows how to ladle it. This paragraph spoons like a thick reduction of right-wing talking points, a demi-glace of conservative bushwa, as if...

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